Akshay to collaborate with ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ writers for ‘quirky’ comedy film

PTI, Jun 14, 2020, 2:15 PM IST

Mumbai: Writers Garima Wahal and Siddharth Singh, best known for their work on “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela” and “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, have confirmed that they are penning a “quirky” comedy with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar in the lead.

The duo, who previously collaborated with Akshay on “Brothers” as dialogue writers and penned “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, are writing the screenplay and dialogues for the upcoming film.

“We are in the scripting stage. It is a comic caper, a quirky slice-of-life comedy. It is not a social issue (film) but a different take on an individual’s personality and how relationships get impacted because of that.

“Our new film is about acceptance and relationships. It’s an out-and-out comedy. It is a commercial project with a realistic setup,” Garima told PTI.

Siddharth said Akshay liked the idea of the film and asked the duo to develop the script.

“We are excited about it. Considering his schedule of upcoming films, this project might go on floors in the second half of 2021,” he said.

Apart from this project, Garima and Siddharth are also busy with the casting of their directorial debut “Dukaan” and another film on the subject of honour killing.

The writers said “Dukaan”, based on commercial surrogacy, is inspired by real incidents.

Siddharth said he learnt about a surrogate house in Anand district of Gujarat and that inspired them to start the groundwork.

“We went to Anand where there are 40-50 women who live together under one roof. We met these women during our research and some couples from around the world there,” he said.

Garima said they are focusing on the emotional aspect of commercial surrogacy.

“It’s a life-changing phenomenon for both the parties involved. It’s about human emotion, which is overlooked by a world driven by commerce. How can a woman be expected to disappear soon after giving birth to a child? It’s ruled by contracts and practical sense, but in our film, we will address the emotional aspect of commercial surrogacy,” she added.

Siddharth revealed that the team has been facing difficulty in casting a female lead as many actors have “apprehensions” about playing a pregnant woman.

“They even doubted the potential of a heroine-driven subject. It’s sad that some of them have more faith in hero-driven films, which actually undermines the power of women characters,” he added.

Garima said that it was still difficult to mount a woman-led subject in the commercial space. However, she was grateful that producers have shown faith in their content.

According to the duo, the team has finished the pre-production work including shortlisting location and preliminary costume.

They said that they are waiting for the lockdown to ease up to determine when it would be safe to start preparation and eventually shoot.

Talking about their directorial on honour killing, Siddharth and Garima said the film is a “flip take” on the issue.

“It is an action romance drama with a young lead cast. It’s a fast-paced film with a big studio. The project will be greenlit post lockdown,” Siddharth said.

“Quiet unlike what we have seen in films like ‘Dhadak’ or ‘LSD’ where lovers get killed in the end, our lovers are all set to take on their families,” Garima added.

For their research, the writers said they visited the safe houses in the interiors of Haryana and met some real-life couples who are on the run.

The film is a work of fiction, but Garima and Siddharth said they have picked up instances from reality.

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